Saturday, October 20, 2007

Collect -- Trinity XX

Latin original
Omnipotens et misericors Deus, universa nobis adversantia propitiatus exclude: ut mente et corpore pariter expeditit, quae tua synt, liberis mentibus exsequamur. (This collect is appointed in the Tridentine Missal for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost.)

1549 BCP
ALMIGHTIE and merciful God, of thy bountiful goodnes, kepe us from all thynges that maye hurte us; that we, beyng ready bothe in body and soule, maye with free heartes accomplishe those thynges that thou wouldest have doen; Through Jesus Christ our Lorde.

1662 BCP
O ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that though wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The first thing that strikes me about this Collect is that we pray for protection not so much for our own sake but in order that we might do God’s will. The second thing that strikes me as significant is that the doing of God’s will is described as something we “cheerfully accomplish”. This further accentuates the fact that our greatest desire and joy is to be obeying God.

Of course, it ought to be so, but we may have a tinge of embarrassment in praying so, knowing that these words are easy to say but hard to mean! And so we need to remind ourselves of and embrace two rock-solid truths: that conformity to God’s will brings joy in its wake, and that the more we know Him, the more we will love Him and thus long to please Him. Then faith and love will work together to transform our minds and motivations.

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